Thursday, September 20, 2012

I Think You Should Know Thursday

This Thursday I think you should know Anais Mitchell, an artist I did not know until Monday, when I saw her open for Bon Iver. Mitchell, with her soft vocal harmonies reminds one of St. Vincent with a touch flower child-she did grow up on a farm in Vermont after all.
Mitchell owes a lot of her success to Bon Iver; not only is she touring with them, but front man Justin Vernon was featured extensively on her 2010 album Hadestown. Described as a "folk opera," Veron plays the part of Orpheus, appropriately named after the poet and musician from Greek mythology with the enchanting voice. Mitchell plays Eurydice, the wife of Orpheus. There are also other singers playing parts on the album including Ani Franco, Greg Brown, and Ben Knox Miller.
Mitchell just released her new album called Young Man in America this year and said in concert that it was named after her father (as well as the song by the same title).
"Wedding Song" is the first song from the album Hadestown. It is one of the many that features Justin Vernon. I had to include a song with him because their voices work so well together. Both singers have a lovelorn, folksy sound that evokes imagery of the forest and the beginning of the myth. "Wedding Song" is one of those songs that brings you some place else when you listen to it; somewhere not very far away, but also unfamiliar and enchanting. 
"EURYDICE/Mitchell: Lover, tell me if you can

Who’s gonna buy the wedding bands?
Times being what they are
Hard and getting harder all the time
ORPHEUS/Vernon: Lover, when I sing my song
All the rivers sing along
And they’re gonna break their banks for me
To lay their gold around my feet
All a-flashing in the pan, all to fashion for your hand
The rivers gonna give us the wedding bands"

"Coming Down" is from Mitchell's new album, Young Man in America. Here, her soft, clear voice is featured more prominently against only a piano. Both the song and the video that accompany it seem to represent a desire to grow up, but at the same time a nostalgia for the past and a fear of loneliness.
Please don't leave
Easy feeling
Don't leave me like that
Not yet
Don't set me
Free, free, free, free, free"

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